The answer to this question will almost always be “NO.” Throughout this article, we will discuss why that is the case.
Accidents are such a common occurrence that it is rare at this point that you haven’t been involved in one than if you had. That doesn’t make them or the aftermath any less frustrating to deal with. The questions that arise can make anyone’s head spin.
What do I do next? Who is liable? How will I pay for the medical bills or costs to repair my vehicle? These are common and relevant questions you may have after an accident.
What Do I Do Next?
The first important detail that you should attend to is yourself. If you have an injury, you must seek adequate medical care for your injuries. Once you have begun that process, you will likely hear from insurance companies over the near future that will offer you a settlement for your injuries or the damages to your vehicle, or both.
It can feel like an instinct for most of us to want to settle this portion of the process quickly so we can get back to life as we know it and stop stressing over an accident. What can occur, however, by us settling too soon is that we inhibit ourselves from getting the total amount that we deserve after an accident, leaving us in unnecessary financial duress.
Why Do Insurance Companies Want to Settle Quickly?
Remind yourself of their objective when insurance companies contact you to offer you a settlement for the damages. They are hired to protect the best interest of the company they work for and their clients. You can see in that sentence where your needs or your best interest isn’t in the equation. That’s because it isn’t.
Insurance companies want to try and close files as quickly as possible for efficiency purposes (accidents happen every hour, on the hour) and to help mitigate further compensation being requested. In some cases, the full extent of your injuries may have yet to present themselves, or the issues with your vehicle may have yet to be entirely determined. By rushing to a settlement, an insurance company can try to get you to agree to a settlement, absolving themselves from any additional compensation before you fully establish what you’re owed.
You may not know that when you agree to a settlement, it almost always means that you have no further recourse to obtain additional compensation for damages. By agreeing to the settlement it releases the other parties involved from further liability. So if you uncover further or more extensive treatment is needed for your injuries, you won’t be able to go back to the insurance and ask for more compensation.
What are other Reasons for Companies to Rush a Settlement?
Insurance companies also know that everyday people aren’t typically skilled in negotiations. If they give individuals more time, they have time to prepare or consult an attorney qualified in negotiations, requiring more of the insurance company in most cases and won’t settle.
Experienced attorneys are well-versed in negotiations and the tactics that insurance companies often use to get people to settle for less than what is deserved after an accident. This skill set can be of great benefit to you to have them help you with negotiations and communication in general, so you aren’t selling yourself short and leaving yourself open to financial stress.
When Does Settling Make Sense?
It may be a good time to settle if you have taken the time to assess your injuries adequately, completed your proposed treatment, and consulted an attorney.
These steps must occur before settlement to avoid the difference between you obtaining total damages and being left to pay for them out of pocket.
This patience can be challenging to achieve with time away from work and mounting medical bills, but it is in your best interest to take your time and allow all details to be covered before settling. Speak with an experienced attorney that can help you understand the process and next steps.
How Can an Attorney Help?
There are several ways in which a qualified attorney can help you after an accident. A lawyer will work to obtain the necessary evidence to help you establish fault, help you to organize your medical bills and police records, and more.
They can also help you negotiate with insurance agencies, work with medical facilities to ensure that you have all the documentation before settling the case, and work with doctors to ensure all essential treatment is stipulated.
They can help to protect you from yourself in a sense as well. What we mean by this is similar to what we discussed above. In your rush to get back to life as you know it and put the car accident behind you, you may accidentally say something to an insurance adjuster that can sway the fault for the accident to be placed on you, interfering with your chances at obtaining total compensation that you are owed. Or by accepting a settlement that doesn’t cover the costs, you acquired throughout the accident and the aftermath.
Don’t allow yourself to be put in this situation. Contact our office at 855-545-1777 to learn more about how we can help you. Our team is qualified and skilled in handling car accident cases, and we are confident we can help you, too.